Trump's CIA Pick: Mike Pompeo—Advocate of Torture & Tearing Up Rule of Law
November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
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Mike Pompeo wants to expand the government’s ability to spy on millions. He advocates legalizing and carrying out torture. He champions gutting fundamental civil rights. Now Trump has named this Congressman and former Army officer to head the Central Intelligence Agency—the CIA—one of the most powerful and deadly arms of the U.S. government’s repressive apparatus.
Pompeo opposed ending the ability of the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect phone records, or metadata, in bulk. Instead, he called for Congress to expand spying and “pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.” (Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2016)
Pompeo opposes closing down the infamous U.S. torture camp known as the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. After visiting there in 2013, he mocked the detainees who were on protest hunger strikes, telling a Congressional committee that it looked like some of the prisoners had “put on weight” and that the hunger strikes were a “political stunt.” Pompeo criticized Obama’s decision to end the CIA’s secret prisons around the world (so-called "black sites") and the requirement that all interrogators adhere to anti-torture laws. Like Trump, Pompeo has denounced the ban on waterboarding and other forms of torture, euphemistically labeled "enhanced interrogation techniques." (Guardian, November 18, 2016)
This proposed new head of the CIA operates as if the fundamental legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t—or shouldn’t—really exist. Earlier this year he told CSPAN that Edward Snowden “should be brought back from Russia and given due process.” But then, before any due process had taken place, he pronounced his own sentence: “I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence.” (Slate.com, November 18, 2016)
Pompeo calls for targeting any Muslim leaders (or really, any Muslims) who refuse to denounce acts of terrorism as "potentially complicit" in the attacks. "When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith," he said in 2013. "Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow." (Guardian, November 18, 2016)
And Pompeo embodies the fascists’ virulent efforts to tear down and destroy their liberal ruling class opponents. He rose to prominence during the Congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya—and has served as a major attack dog against Hillary Clinton. Pompeo’s role in the Benghazi inquiry was reportedly a significant factor in Trump’s decision to select him to lead the CIA. (NY Times, November 18, 2016)
In sum, Mike Pompeo represents tearing down democratic rights, civil rights, and the rule of law—in the U.S. and internationally.
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